On Nov. 29, Center on Halsted partnered with DIFFA/Chicago to host the second annual Stand Up For Red indoor street festival, bringing together local restaurants, musicians and artists to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in preparation for World AIDS Day.
The Center's gymnasium was arranged to simulate a street fest, complete with lights strung up over the booths and the air savory with the smells of fresh bites while bands rotated onstage.
Participating restaurants offered samples of their dishes, including the Lunch Lady J ( a sloppy joe ) by lesbian-owned One North, Inspired Catering & Event's oregano spiced chicken skewers, turkey-fennel meatballs in goat cheese by Ashley Cheek catering and mushroom tostadas prepared by the Silver Fork culinary and hospitality vocational training program. Tito's provided cocktails crafted specially for the event.
Artists included Mark Narens of The Black Couch Studio and Gallery, CNfactory selling handmade pop culture screen prints and Handcrafted Wellness offering soap and skincare products.
Drag queen Silky Ganache emceed, starting the event with a moment of silence honoring AIDS victims. This was followed by beats from DJ Madrid and performances from musicians including the Deja Blue Band. Silky Ganache rounded things off with a Christmas-themed routine.